Gitanjali Dang (OCA ISP+ guest) to curate an exhibition at Melahuset, Oslo

Published 2017/10/02

Drawing of Purkinje cells (A) and granule cells (B) from pigeon cerebellum by Santiago Ramón y Cajal, 1899. Instituto Santiago Ramón y Cajal, Madrid, Spain (Public Domain)


The opening of the exhibition

‘All of the Above, None of the Above’

curated by Gitanjali Dang, OCA ISP+ guest

Opening Reception: Tuesday, 10 October 2017, 18:30–21:30, with a curator’s introduction at 19:30

Opening Dates: Wednesday, 11 October–Saturday 4 November 2017
Opening Hours: Tuesday–Sunday: 11:00–18:00 (Closed on 21, 22 and 28 October 2017)

Mariboes gate 8
0183 Oslo

OCA is happy to announce that its current ISP+ guest, Indian curator and writer Gitanjali Dang, is curating a group exhibition with local and international artists entitled ‘All of the Above, None of the Above’, opening at Melahuset in Oslo on 10 October. Between August and November 2017, Dang participates in the OCA International Studio Programme (ISP) residency at Ekely, Oslo, which extended (through the OCA ISP+) to the Lofoten archipelago and the Nordland County.

Dang’s Oslo exhibition takes as point of departure two intersecting stories. The one of writers and translators Harcharan and Purnima Chawla who arrived in Oslo from India in 1975 and 1976 respectively. And the other of Knut Hamsun, a towering writer whose biography is complicated by his Nazi affiliations, among other things.

Purnima and Harcharan undertook a range of activities where they employed language— English, Hindi, Norwegian, Punjabi and Urdu—in their capacity as interlocutors, translators, writers, pedagogues, curators and as language consultants for Deichmanske bibliotek (Oslo Public Library).

Purnima eventually started translating Hamsun’s Victoria (1898), a work left unfinished upon her death in 1993. Harcharan completed what was left of the Hindi translation and then went on to translate the book to Urdu.

In 1894, two years prior to Victoria, Hamsun published his early defining work Pan. In the Epilogue of Pan—a defining early work in the author’s literary legacy—the action mysteriously shifts from Nordland to India, where the action is marked by racist overtones.

Against this backdrop, Gitanjali Dang asks the following questions, ‘What prompted Hamsun to situate the epilogue of Pan in India?’, ‘What prompted the Chawlas to translate Hamsun’s Victoria?’, ‘What can the place of fiction and translation tell us about the lives of those committed to it?’, ‘What does it mean to arrive in a city?’, and ‘What does it mean to arrive at this particular exhibition in this particular context of Oslo?’

These reflections lead to concepts of deep reading, epigenetic trauma, ‘Norwegianisation’, linguistic relativism, flirting, confirmation bias; and to places such as Nordland and its Sami history, Delhi, the farthest reaches of the imagination, the North Sea, the cerebellum, Kashmir, Deichmanske bibliotek, Tehran, Namibia, the clouds; and to people like Henrik Ibsen, Nirad C Chaudhuri, Ambadas Khobragade, hyperlexics i.e. children with a precocious ability to read, Annemarie Schwarzenbach, Marie Hamsun, Anders Behring Breivik; and to labour: labour of love… And so on.

Participating artists within the exhibition include, Abhishek Hazra, Ane Hjort Guttu, Akanksha Sharma, Ayatgali Tuleubek, Forager Collective (Babitha Lingraju, Deepa Bhasthi and Sunoj D), Farah Mulla, Gitanjali Dang, Henrik Pryser Libell, Himali Singh Soin, Hina Khan, Inger Lise Hansen, Kush Badhwar, Liv Bugge, Marie Kaada Hovden, MS Sathyu, Ragnhild M Hansen, Ranjit Kandalgaonkar, Ruth Wilhelmine Meyer, Susanne Winterling, Shubhangi Singh, Ronak Moshtaghi, SnotBot (Ocean Alliance), Toril Johannessen, Yendini Yoo Cappelen, with additional material on Agha Shahid Ali, Edward Said, Nansen Passport, Santiago Ramón y Cajal, Stand with Standing Rock.

Please contact Gitanjali Dang for more information about the exhibition. For enquiries related to OCA’s ISP+ programme, please contact OCA’s Communication Manager Tara Hassel.

About Gitanjali Dang/Khanabadosh
Gitanjali Dang is a curator, writer and shape-shifter. In 2012, she founded Khanabadosh, an itinerant arts lab. Khanabadosh lives off latitude, magic and agnosticism, and is interested in everything. It is particularly interested in constantly rethinking what it—and everything around it—is about. In 2015, Khanabadosh, in collaboration with Institute for Contemporary Art Research, Zurich University of the Arts, co-founded Draft, which explores contemporary art that produces, contributes to or provokes public debate. Gitanjali lives and loves in Mumbai and wherever else this living and loving might take her.

About Gitanjali Dang’s residency in Norway as part of OCA’s ISP+
OCA ISP+ to the Lofoten archipelago and the Nordland County was made possible through a number of institutional and individuals’ collaboration including the artist-in-residence Røst AiR (run by a working group consisting of Elin Már Øyen Vister, Jason Rosenberg and Marie Kaada Hovden); the Nordland County Council, Bodø (special thanks to Kristoffer Dolmen); The Hamsun Centre, Hamarøy; Fotobrygga, Skrova; and the artist Elisabeth Færøy Lund.

About OCA’s ISP and ISP+ programmes
International residents (artists, curators and critics) are invited to OCA’s International Studio Programme (ISP) for a period of up to three months. The length of the stay depends on the respective resident’s schedule needs. The resident is provided with a professional studio and an apartment at Ekely (an artists's colony where Edvard Munch built his studio where he lived and worked until his death in 1944) for their stay in Oslo, and additional research possibilities during his or her stay. The residency can be used for independent research, work on a project taking place in Norway, teaching purposes or for other activities in relation to Norwegian contemporary culture. OCA’s ISP programme guests are also invited to extend their residency participation into networked activities in the form of public talks, seminars and presentations organised by OCA and/or at the invitation of other institutions throughout Norway.
Under the umbrella of the project ‘Thinking at the Edge of the World. Perspectives from the North’ OCA initiated a number of residencies and programmes called ISP+ for visiting artists, curators and critics to delve into research possibilities in Northern Norway, with the cooperation support of local institutions.

About Melahuset
Melahuset promotes arts and cultural expressions connected to Norway by immigration, particularly from the countries of the Global South. The House aims to enhance competence about these cultural expressions, and will promote activities meeting this objective. Melahuset gives priority to artistic enterprises such as music, dance, film, literature and exhibitions, also including debates and conversations about relevant topics.

A Khanabadosh project with support from Melahuset and Podium